14 September 2022

The Wagga wine that delivered 'Double Joy' to the King

| Chris Roe
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pouring wine

Borambola Wines’ rose is named Double Joy after a comment from Prince/King Charles. Photo: Supplied.

The team from Borambola Wines has toasted the ascendancy of King Charles with a rose named in his honour.

“I’ve had to change my spiel,” winemaker Tim McMullen said.

“The wine’s now for King Charles III rather than the Prince of Wales.”

Tim explained that Borambola’s royal blush earned the name Double Joy following a not-so-secret royal visit ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

“Charles and Camilla stayed with Sir Michael Hintze, at Deltroit Station, which is our neighbouring station, and the connection was that they went to school together at Timbertop [Geelong Grammar School],” he said.

“It was pretty much the worst-kept secret around town because Sir Michael was doing a lot of work to Deltroit Station in anticipation,” he adds with a laugh.

“They were buying lots of local produce, too, and we had a phone call saying that they wanted to serve our wines at the cocktail party, which was a great honour.”

Woman and man selfie

Naomi and Tim McMullen. Photo: Supplied.

But Borambola is no stranger to royalty, and this was to be its second brush with a crown prince.

In 1920 the future King Edward VIII (who abdicated shortly after being crowned in 1936) was impressed with his Borambola visit and wrote a letter to the local children while journeying home aboard the ship Renown.

Tim now has the letter that describes how he enjoyed his stay and “felt it was home”.

“It was a bit cheeky, but I said to Sir Michael, ‘Tell Charles that the sparkling wine he’s going to be drinking is actually named after his great-uncle and mentor’,” Tim said.

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After they popped the corks on a few bottles of VIII Sparkling Brut, the Prince was apparently royally impressed.

“We weren’t really expecting to hear back from anyone at Deltroit,” smiled Tim.

“But we had a call saying that they’d spoken to Charles and his reply was that he’d loved the wine and he loved the stories and it was ‘double joy’.

“So that’s why we called out our rose Double Joy.”

King Charles III

King Charles, speaking after the passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth. Photo: File.

The label has gained new currency with the ascension of King Charles III, who automatically took the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

“We’ve got a new vintage and we’ve had a few people who were out here over the weekend and they were definitely raising their glasses in approval of the new King,” Tim said.

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With the sparkling brut named VIII for King Edward, Tim said there were no immediate plans for a ”III” in honour of the new monarch.

“We only grow three grape varietals here and we’re 100 per cent estate grown, so the rose comes from shiraz grapes and the sparkling wine comes from our chardonnay grapes,” he said.

“So I don’t know that we’ll be having another wine for it.

“But who knows? Stay tuned!”

Long live the King.

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